Woodbine barn fire reaches second alarm, no injuries

Firefighters from three counties battled the two-alarm blaze. (Photo: Howard County Fire)

Several family members were forced to rescue livestock from a burning barn in Howard County on Sunday afternoon.

Just as Ashley Beheler, a horseback riding teacher, was finishing her farm chores around 1 p.m., she smelled smoke.

"The fire had gotten toward the back and gotten really hot," Beheler said. "One of the sliding glass doors blew out and glass started flying.

After checking that every animal had made it out of the barn, Beheler called 911.

It took nearly 60 firefighters from three Maryland counties - Howard, Frederick and Montgomery - to put out the two-alarm blaze in a barn in the 2600 block of Jennings Chapel Road in Woodbine.

Firefighters arrived at the scene to find the 100-foot by 50-foot barn completely engulfed in flames, according to Eric Proctor, Howard County Fire Dept. Battalion Chief. It took four to five hours to completely extinguish the blaze, he said.

The livestock were evacuated before authorities arrived. No one was injured in the blaze.

The barn, designed and built man years ago, is a complete loss.

Its owner, Paul, took Beheler under his wing after she lost her father and fell on hard economic times. She says it feels like a part of him was destroyed, but that he will find a way to look on the bright side.

"He's very resilient, so I'm sure he's going to find something amazing to do with this loss here and the giant hole in the ground now," Beheler said.

This is the third fire in the area in the last month, leaving residents suspicious of foul play.

On December 6, a barn caught fire and on December 13, a vacant house was also engulfed in flames.

The cause of the fire is unknown and the investigation continues.